Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Once Upon A Time...

I used to carry my camera with me everywhere I went. I really did. I took pictures of all kinds of things, including but not limited to: My beagle doing any number of random things, my horse doing any number of random things, the random things I do here on this farm and a whole bunch of other randomness.

This weekend I did not get pictures of all kinds of things, including but not limited to: Me shooting a .22 for the first time, me making a new garden, my tree named Hope, the planting of the new garden, a riding lesson, and my beagle rolling in something that is dead on my driveway. I missed shots of two fires, a fourwheeling expedition in the gravel pits, my car breaking down on the highway, Trooper the foal leaping in his new stall, the making of Trooper's new stall, several random walks in the country...

Shall I stop there?

I miss taking photos of things and here I will vow to get pictures of all the above-named things.

After all, tonight my mother did threaten to take over my blog and post pictures of my new garden herself if I don't soon get on it.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Steps To A More Positive Me

I've been feeling sad and dejected of late. This has resulted in too much time spent in jammies on the couch, too much time not doing anything productive, and too much time eating large quantities of food. Especially food slathered with gravy.

Or Hollandaise sauce.

Sometimes in the same sitting.

The past couple days have been good ones, a kick I want to stay on. As such, I thought I'd share some goals with you:

1: Move. Every day, move. I'm a crazy person, so excercise is really good for my mind. It expends all that excess energy that would otherwise be devoted to panic attacks and curling up in a ball in my bed.

2: Keep working on school. My original goal was to have a Master's degree before I'm thirty. Now that I'm working full time at two jobs, riding daily, and trying to find time to, oh, you know... exist, it is kind of hard to keep up with the school work. So my new goal is to die with a Master's degree. If it happens to come by the time I'm thirty, I'll be happy. Regardless, it needs to happen at some point in time.

3: Stop moping. No more laying around bemoaning the state of my life. If, at any point, I start to lay around and bemoan, I will then spend at least an hour completing goal one or two.

4: Praise God. Or give thanks to God, or something. I've already started giving at least ten minutes a day to God, thanking Him for all the wonder that exists in my life. When I start to mope, I need to then refer back to goal number three, spend time completing goal numbers one and two, and offer up a prayer of thanks that I am in such a position to even have goals number one and two.

5: LIVE THIS LIFE. I have a life, and dammit, it's a good one. I need to snap out of it and realize how truly lucky and blessed I am.

6: Love my horse. Adore my Beagle. They are truly 'my people'. They never let me down, they are always there when I need them, and they tolerate my late at night, off-key singing without complaint. Hey, who else can boast that they have characters willing to put up with that in their lives?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ok, I Tried to Keep it Light...

Earlier today (Like, ten minutes ago) I wrote a post because I felt obligated to write a post and I realized I'd never told my Blog about my tattoo. So that was my blog fodder.

But something more pressing is on my mind.


I hate them. I really, really do! A week ago, I ended a six month bout of idiocy with a certain snow plow driver.

Oh, the snow plow driver. He was a redhead. I'm a sucker for a redhead. And he had an enormous truck with glorious tires. There were deer heads hanging all over his house and he was tall. Oh, he was so, so tall. Tall and redheaded and big shouldered. He liked to cook and watch the Discovery Channel and I spent a number of weekends this winter on his couch, with him and a glass of wine, watching the Discovery Channel and talking. Just talking.

Wait, that's a lie. We weren't just talking.

Don't worry, Dad, you don't need to avert your eyes.

We were laughing. That boy could make me laugh. One time I left his house and my abdomen absolutely hurt from laughing so much. Just talking, and laughing.

Well, that's a lie, too.

There might have been some kissing.

At any rate, there was talking, laughing, kissing, big tires, deer heads on the wall, glasses of wine, and mindless television.

I want that to be my life.

But with many things, it had to come to an end due to certain drama that even I don't understand, which leads me to believe that maybe he just wasn't that into me.

And that's fine. I can accept that.

But then there was this other guy who I dated for a couple weekends after I read the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. It was recommended by Joomy (Who I love) and I read it and agreed to live by it. Because a person doesn't have to have big tires or deer heads or a certain color of hair to make a good partner.

And everything was going great! He was open minded! And nice! And blonde! We laughed together too! And I thought, hey, maybe I can do this.

But then he texted me one day after an uncharacteristic few days of not texting me stating that he really didn't want me to stop talking to him but, well, he's getting back together with his ex.

And I could re-cap the whole MooseHunter fiasco of last September/October but I won't even go there because the saga is just too much for any soul to bear. (This story also had a continuation in December and then again in April.... I'm still single, so I guess you can figure out how it ended.)

I just can't help but feel sad and pathetic and like nobody wants me.

And am I really that bad to hang out with? Am I such a terrible girlfriend? Am I so bad at this whole dating thing that I deserve to be alone forever and ever, amen? Is there no one out there who is willing to be with me? Do I need to totally make over myself in order to be compatible with dating SOMEONE? Anyone?

This is what has been plaguing my thoughts of late. That no one out there wants to date me and that I am destined to forever hang out with my Beagle rather than a human being.

I'm not saying that I'm not happy. I have a good paying job, I have a horse who I love and another horse who I have a lease on. I have my beagle and i own my car outright. My parents are among my favorite companions and there are a couple pretty good friends in there, too.

It's just that sometimes I feel sad. Like last weekend and like this weekend, I just feel sad that there is so much going on in my life. And wouldn't it be nice to share it with someone who makes me laugh?

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Ooops, I Forgot To Tell You

So, I've always wanted to get a tattoo. I've never really known of what, and I've thrown around ideas in my mind since I was about sixteen.

Originally, I was going to get something horse-related but that flew out the window when all my ideas were ridiculed by the entire world.

For a while I wanted to get a Danish flag and then I was thinking of a Danish flag and a Canadian flag crossed over each other. But then my brother came home from Afghanistan WITH MY TATTOO. I'm not making this up, I had someone design the tattoo online and everything. I had never mentioned it to anyone IN CASE SOMEONE STOLE MY IDEA, and then he went all telepathic on me and got my tattoo.

Brothers. Hrmph.

Then I met Zydeco and again I was back on the idea of getting something horse-related. One day my tattoo came to me when I tossed Zydeco's bridle on the table after a ride. The bit (This is the part of his headgear he wears while riding that goes in his mouth, for those of you not in the know) landed on the table in a perfect Z shape.

And you know, I kinda wanted to get a tattoo for Zydeco, seeing as how he was my one true love and all, but I didn't want to go so far as to have a specific horse on me forever.

I figured this was a perfect compromise.

The guy who did my tattoo was a little baffled and it took him almost an hour to create the vision in my mind, with the assistance of some pictures from Google. Praise Google.

And then I laid down on the table and he started stabbing me violently with that ridiculous machine they use and I wanted to tell him to stop. Nope, thanks, I don't need any ink on me, my dignity and I will be out smoking on the sidewalk and I will be without a tattoo.

Then I looked down and realized there was a black circle on me that would forever remain a black circle. I could tell him to stop and then would spend the rest of my life with a black circle on me.

I did what any dignified soul would do and I screeched my way through the rest of the tattoo. I went outside afterwards and had a full-on panic attack, complete with dizziness, nausea, world spinning and inability to breathe for about ten minutes.

And then I called my mom and was all like, Mom! I got a tattoo!

She had some feelings regarding the tattoo that she shared with me, and now the left side of my hip looks like this:

And all was right with the world.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weeping Uncontrollably

Now That Zydeco is back home and unable to stand any exertion, I have taken a lease on a lovely little quarterhorse named Princess. The next chance I get, I'm running straight to the saddle store and buying a ridiculous amount of pink brushes, because every horse named Princess should have pink brushes.

I've had my eye on Princess since I started at the barn because she is the perfect horse for me. On the plus side, she is kind of petite, and I've always wanted to try out a petite horse to see how I feel. My long, limbering legs might look a little silly, but I like being that much closer to the ground.

So, I got on Princess for the first time yesterday. She stood at the mounting block and I was oh so very happy because Zydeco does not stand at the mounting block. He's a bit of an asshat that way.

And then I proceeded to ride Princess with much success. She was wonderful and I have to say that there is a lot to be said for a horse with a nice, dainty trot as opposed to a horse like Zydo. His trot will throw you to the moon if you're not careful.

We continued our ride and I tried to do a few of the things I would normally do with Zydo and they didn't happen and I felt a little weepy. But I perservered.

Then Princess tried some tricks, just to see what I would do. And I dealt with them and felt a little more sad because I always know what to expect with Zydo's tricks. But this is a new horse.

So I carried on. And then Princess went sideways and tossed her head hither and yon. This is not the end of the world, just a mare testing out a new rider and I should know this and accept this.

But I burst into tears nonetheless because Princess was doing things that Zydo doesn't do to me any more.

I tried to pull myself together. I really, really did. I was here on Princess, the lovely little mare who I've always wanted to ride. She is very pretty to look at and quite well trained. She is sound, sane, and very, very fit. She has great feet, a beautiful mane, and a little sock on one of her hind legs.

But Princess is not Zydeco. And Zydeco is the one that I love and I couldn't help but think how unfair it is that we couldn't have one more year, one more kick at the can, one more go together.

I cried and cried and tried to make it look like I wasn't crying, which makes a crying situation even worse.

My mother came out to coach for the last twenty minutes of my ride. We had some very functional trot on the bit, some very good work. I did sitting trot, which I could never do on Zydo because of his bounciness, and I aced it. I aced a lot of things in that ride, actually.

And then I sat down for my post-ride smoke and tears just kept on escaping me.

Because my horse, the horse that I love, the one that I want has chips of bone floating around in his knee.

And I knew this. I'll say it again, I knew it. I knew it when I first laid eyes on a picture on the Internet. I knew that the horse had arthritis and that one day we would not be working together any more.

I'm riding Princess again tomorrow. I have very specific goals for our second ride: Do not cry. Do not weep. Do not scare the other riders at the barn with my crying and weeping. Be eternally grateful that despite the fact I can't ride my horse, I do have a very fit and sound horse at my disposal to learn from and to master.

This whole thing, I've decided, is going to be a mighty process. I knew three years ago that I would have to go through this process and so this is my beginning.


Just because the course has changed doesn't mean our theme song has to as well.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Cowboy Roy...

Waylon Jennings often comes to my mind when I think of my heroes. This is because My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. (Good tune. Look it up, will you?)

I'm not making this up. I love cowboys. I love their confidence and their ability and their know-how. I love so much about cowboys that I really wish one who lives in close proximity to me would allow me to woo him with my charm, but I digress.

Cowboy Roy lives up the road from us here in CowTown. I hired him last time to get Zydeco on the trailer to go to his new farm. Our loading time was eight minutes. I'm still so shocked about this that I don't even have words.

I called Cowboy Roy last night and had a jovial conversation with him, in which he hassled me to hurry up and buy a decent horse (Decent being a quarter horse that works cattle. As opposed to a Thoroughbred who jumps fences.)

It was arranged that Cowboy Roy and Cowboy Dad should leave to pick up the ever-magnificent Zydeco (Floating bone chips and all, my horse remains magnificent) at eight a.m. I asked if my presence would be required. *Silence on the line* I'm sure that both cowboys involved would rather have their eyes seared out by branding irons than be accompanied by such a ... a wilting flower as myself.

I set my alarm clock for eight forty-five, thinking that would give me a good forty five minutes to ready myself for my horse's arrival. I mean, they were sure to have some trouble, no? The horse who takes an unGodly amount of begging to get on a trailer? Surely they wouldn't be here before nine thirty in the morning? An hour and a half to deal with a tricky horse seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

And then I found myself outside greeting my glorious Thoroughbred at five to nine. Did you read that? FIVE TO NINE. I'm going to bold it for you so you really can get the emphasis: FIVE TO NINE.

It took them fifty five minutes to get from here to the farm, get the horse bandaged and blanketed and onto the trailer and back here to The Ranch. God, I love cowboys.

I unloaded him myself. It took me a minute to figure out how to open the trailer and then I hopped in beside my horse who was snorting and pacing side to side. He was kind of scary and I wanted to leap out of the trailer.

But, it was the last chance I'd ever have to take my horse off a trailer. Wilting flower, be damned. I'm taking my horse back to where he belongs. I'm sure the cowboys could have done it a little more gracefully, but I wanted to learn this last little tidbit of horsemanship.

And he turned around and walked off like a prince, like the boy I love so much, quiet like a lamb.

Cowboy Roy ribbed me a bit before he left, offering me a few good horses he has for sale. This is the relationship I have with Cowboy Roy: I talk about my horse, he guffaws and then tells me about a 'real' horse I should buy. He is one of the few people in the world who does not offend me when he talks down on big horses who can't cut cattle. I'm ok with it.

I came home from work tonight and my heart leapt up into my throat when I saw my beautiful steed standing out in the pasture with Tia and Trooper. My boy. In all his shiny, knee-chipped glory. Eating grass, lazing about, soaking up the sunshine.

I have one recommendation to make here: If you are a wilting flower when it comes to handling your horse, you should really have a pair of cowboys around to assist. They are such jolly creatures, these cowboys.

And they always know how to get the job done.


Monday, May 10, 2010

On Napping with Certain Smelly Beagles...

When my parents leave me alone here at The Ranch, Dixie becomes my right-hand-man. Only she's not a man, she's a she, and on top of that, she's a beagle, but I'm sure you get my drift.

Dixie accompanies me everywhere I need to go: The couch, the barn, back to the couch, perhaps up to my neighbor's to have a beer, and then back to the couch again.

Dixie has been forced against her will, for all of her life, to sleep alone at night in the kennel. Getting her to bed at night is much like pulling teeth. Every night I watch her mournful face as she walks sadly to her kennel.

I like to play a little trick on Dixie while my parents are away. I'm cruel like that. I turn out all the lights in the house and say: "Dixie, Bedtime!" And then I look at her. She raises her overweight body sloooooooowly -- oh, so slowly -- from her perch on the couch and she hangs her head in sadness and looks at me with her beagle-y little eyes.

And then I stand up on the stairs and screech "MUPPY!" and pat my leg.

The transformation is amazing. She leaps to life, charges up the stairs like it is her job, and bounds into my bedroom to wait for me to lift her into bed. Watching her snort and snuffle in my luxurious down duvet before laying down brings indescribable joy to my life.

And then we sleep.

Yesterday I gave Dixie a bath, a rare occurrence that makes her feel very, very unhappy. She stands in the tub looking like the most dejected animal on the face of the Earth and tolerates my washing of her. Not happily. Unless it involves rolling in dead things or hunting things that are soon to be dead, most of what Dixie does is not done happily.

So this afternoon, after the other animals had been fed, I stood on the stairs and screeched "MUPPY!" before Dixie bounded up the stairs and then, surprisingly, found the energy to leap into my bed. She plopped herself down on my good pillow and I groaned inwardly though I knew I wouldn't make her move. I didn't want my good pillow to scented with whatever it is that Dixie has gotten into lately: The manure pile, a coon hit on the side of the road, the gravel pits, the horse stalls -- Anything yucky is where Dixie finds her joy.

And then I remembered: THE BATH. Dixie had a bath yesterday!

We then proceeded to have a four hour nap together, her on my good pillow and me taking second fiddle on the far side of the bed. She curled up beside me, all warm and fuzzy and rose-scented. (Oh, how the rose scent beats the scent of the dead things she likes to roll in during her spare time).

And after our time of napping was done, my pillow smelled only faintly of beagle and more like rose and I felt something else: I felt well-rested and at ease.

I may have just started a Saturday tradition: Washing my beagle so we can curl up together without negative effects on my olfactory system.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Seeking Words....

Zydeco had X-rays done on his knee yesterday because he's been limping quite a bit this year, despite our interventions to prevent this.

I was there while they were done, dressed up in the finest lead apparel the vet could set me up with. This is the first time I've dealt with an equine professional without the aid of my parents. The horse was sedated PRAISE BE, because I don't really do any actual horse handling as part of owning Zydo. I'm a bit of a wilting flower that way.

I trotted my horse in hand for the vet to see and then I looked at him hopefully and said "Is it that bad?" And he said "Yeah, that's bad." And then I 'fessed up and told him how many milligrams of painkillers my boy was taking and he said "Oh." And then he promptly walked away.


Zydeco was then sedated and I did my best to help out with the machinery and holding up Zydo's sore knee and immediately after we were able to see the pictures.

I really wish it was an old-fashioned machine and that I'd had a few days to sit at home and hope before I knew the results.

Please excuse my lack of medical knowledge and lingo here.

He has some little bone chips floating where bone chips don't belong. There is something called hooking in the bones that make up the knee joint where the arthritis has eaten them away. This means that as he moves, the hooks nick each other and cause him pain, as well as causing the potential for more chips to be created.

My childhood of watching horse races was on my mind as the vet spoke to me, and I wasn't sure if I was being scratched or if I was being set down. Both terms mean you aren't competing any more. I'm still not sure which means what and I don't really have the energy to look it up.

I continued on with my day as per usual, oddly with no shedding of tears. And I have continued much in that fashion, although really, I'm not gonna lie: it did kinda hit me late last night.

Zydeco and I will not be going to any shows this year. I don't know what our future holds but the only thing I'm really thinking right now is Bring my horse home. I want him back here with me. I want to go down to the barn late at night and have a beer sitting outside his stall. I want to sing the lyrics of pathetic country music to him. I want to scratch the inside of his ear and watch him lean in closer and shake his head.

I was going to have trailering arranged today but I can't really do it without my parents around because of the whole wilting flower thing I mentioned earlier.

Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday my boy will be back here with me and we will be walking daintily through the field behind the house with Tia and Trooper. No trotting, no jumping, no jarring the knee.... But walking together here at The Ranch.


Thursday, May 06, 2010

I Have Hope...

The weekend is upon me and I have big plans. My Friday starts with a visit from the vet. I'm scared. But I'm also hopeful.

Have I ever said here before that I love my horse? Well, in case you didn't know, I do love my horse and I am hopeful that I will recieve good news.

Also on Friday I get to do one of my favorite things: Take the client I work with shopping for new clothes. I love taking him shopping, helping him pick out things that will make him look and feel his best. Plus, I always buy us a booster juice on the way home, which always makes my day.

I have my usual bible study class on Saturday and after that, the day is mine. I'm thinking of making a garden, or taking a nap, or walking my deer hound around the countryside for hours on end listening to my MP3 player.

Saturday night is full of possibilities: A fire here? Having some people over? Reconnecting with old friends? Sitting on my couch amidst the presence of two lovely canine creatures who make my heart smile?

I don't know what the weekend will bring: But I am very hopeful for it because I could really, really use this day off to just exist.

And exist I will.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Oh, Lord...

My parents are leaving me.

They are leaving me with a puppy, a colt, a crazed and maniacal little beauty named Tia, my full time job, and my insanity.

Pray for me.

No, like, really.

What if the puppy pees all over the floor? What if she gets out of the kennel and leaves a giant pile of poop on my kitchen floor? What if she eat my cowboy boots?

I suppose I'll have to stock up on beer and hope that I have plenty of friendly neighbors around in case I run into trouble.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

On Finding My True Love (Not Horse Related)

I have an ideal that has been stuck in my head for quite some time. My ideal is this: Six feet tall, blonde or red-head, owns a collection of guns, has a giant four wheel drive, has excellent teeth, is open to religion, puts up with my love of horses, and is willing to follow me to the ends of the Earth and back because I'm just that wonderful. He has to have coherent thoughts in his head, be able to read a book now and then, and have the capacity to understand when I'm talking about when I use words longer than four letters.

Also, he would preferably wander into my living room one day and fall in love with me in all my jammie-wearing, chain smoking glory to save me the effort of seeking him out.

Somehow, most of the people I know tend to think that this scenario is highly unlikely.

Phooey on you naysayers, I say.

Realistically, I'm fairly aware that this is fairly unlikely to happen.

This means one of two things: Me and my jammies need to get pretty comfy on this couch because we are likely to stay here for quite some time OR I need to don some makeup, a fitted T-shirt, and a hairstyle now and then and get myself out there.

Who am I kidding?

I love my couch.


Monday, May 03, 2010


Oh, Zydeco, you old fool.

Lat year, after Zydeco made a valiant effort to kill himself, he was magically healed. I'm not sure how this happens, but it does. My horse hurts himself in fantastic fashions, and manages to carry through with nary an ill-effect. After his magnificent injury was dealt with, we moved on to dealing with his arthritis, and this, too, appeared to be healed. All was right with the world and the sun shone down on me each day.

It is no secret that Zydeco was purchased for me with a known problem: He was arthritic in his right front knee. I knew it, my parents knew it, we all knew it. No biggie. We'll give him some painkillers and see if we can't get me properly positioned on a horse before buying me something more suitable to competitive riding.

But I've been caught up. Screw competitive riding, I'm caught up in a love affair that I never thought I would find myself in.


I say the same thing every time I fall in love, or in like, or even in mild interest with something. Fuck. Because I know that once I feel love, or like, or even mild interest in something, it will consume all of me.


I got Zydo, figured I'd use him for a year or two to hone up some skills, and move on.

But no.

It's not really that easy. Because I've fallen in love with Zydo.

And as our love affair has progressed, so has Zydeco's arthritis. Last year, we had him remedied with a multi-million dollar treatment that caused us to re-mortgage the farm three times and go without food or beverage for the better part of the year.

Not really, but it was a pretty pricey move. And because it was a miracle cure, and because my horse was sound after receieving this treatment, this year, my parents gave me an early birthday gift. They had my horse injected so that he would be sound for his two months living at The Ritz.

It has not created for us the results we thought it would.

I am disheartened and sad because it is one of those last-ditch efforts you can give to a horse like Zydeco.

The thing with this damn horse is that he just won't quit. No matter that he is sore, no matter that his knee hurts him, he wants to work. He is happiest being groomed and tacked up and saddled up and brought to the arena. Once I'm on him, or even once my nephew or my father or The Berry Queen is on him, he just keeps going.

I wish he'd give me a sign. I wish he'd look at me with those magnificent Thoroughbred eyes and tell me that he doesn't want to work any more. Alternatively, he could pitch me across the arena the next time I plant my hundred-and-you-don't-need-to-know pound ass in his saddle, thereby telling me in clear language that he is not happy to carry me. But he won't.

I'm sure it's because he loves me. The same way I say "Fuck" when I fall in love, or in like, or even in mild interest with something, Zydo is standing in his 14 x 14 stall right now saying "Fuck".

He's probably shaking his head and telling everyone who will listen about his troubles, heaving a big sigh, taking another bite of the luxurious hay they are feeding him, rolling his eyes, and steadying himself for the next ride.

Because he loves me.